Michael Adams GRABS A LARGE SLUSHIE AND A JUMBO POPCORN IN READINESS FOR THE FILMS TO SEE IN 2018.
Michael Adams on the flicks to keep an eye out for in 2018
ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (Jan 4) The title refers to J. Paul Getty’s fortune, a sliver of which was demanded in 1973 by crims who kidnapped his grandson. Ridley Scott directs this real-life thriller, with Michelle Williams as the kid’s distraught mother, Mark Wahlberg as an EX-CIA fixer and Kevin Spacey as the ruthless gazillionaire who won’t play ball.
(Jan 11) Our cinematic obsession with Winston Churchill continues. Atonement director Joe Wright recreates the 1940 crisis which saw the British Bulldog deciding whether to make peace or war with Hitler. Spoiler alert: it was the latter. Gary Oldman is the cigarchomping leader.
(Jan 11) One of two 2018 flicks directed by Steven Spielberg, this dramatises The Washington Post’s decision to publish The Pentagon Papers, exposing, among other things, how the US government illegally expanded the Vietnam War by bombing Cambodia and Laos. Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep star.
(Jan 25) Warwick Thornton’s followup to Samson And Delilah is a 1920s-set Aussie western in which an Aboriginal man is hounded through the outback. The cast includes Hamilton Morris, Sam Neill and Bryan Brown.
FEBRUARY PHANTOM THREAD
(Feb 1) Paul Thomas Anderson reteams with There Will Be Blood star Daniel Day-lewis for a drama based on the life of 1950s British designer Charles James. The movie, apparently, is to be DDL’S acting swansong.
LAST FLAG FLYING
(Feb 8) Writer-director Richard Linklater of Before Sunset and Boyhood fame turns his gaze from Gen X slackers to Vietnam vets for a comic drama that has Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne joining Steve Carrell to bury his son, recently killed serving in the Middle East.
MARCH RED SPARROW
(Mar 1) Jennifer Lawrence (above) is a Soviet spy, trained in the art of seduction and murder, who has latched onto Joel Edgerton’s CIA agent. From Francis Lawrence, director who made the best of J-law’s Hunger Games flicks, Red Sparrow looks a classy action thriller.
(Mar 8) Aussie Nash Edgerton directs his brother Joel, along with Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried, in a comic-thriller with David Oyelowo as a hapless dude going from citizen to criminal in Mexico.
(Mar 15) Aussies the Spierig brothers, who gave us Undead, Daywalkers and Predestination, direct Helen Mirren in a real-life horror movie about Sarah Winchester, heiress to the fortune created by the rifle company, who kept adding to her San Francisco mansion for 40 years to elude all the ghosts made by her family’s weaponry.
READY PLAYER ONE
(Mar 29) Steven Spielberg’s other 2018 biggie is this spectacular adaptation of Ernest Cline’s best-selling novel of the same name, which depicts a dystopian world of 2045 in which people’s only escape is into a virtual reality wonderland called Oasis.
THE DEATH OF STALIN
(Mar TBC) From Armando Iannucci, who brought us The Thick Of It and Veep, comes a political comedy that has various foul-mouthed politburo, military and KGB imbeciles fighting for power after Stalin kicks the bucket in 1953. Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs and Jeffrey Tambor head up an all-star, all-swearing cast.
APRIL ISLE OF DOGS
(April 19) Wes Anderson’s animated animal comic-drama The Fantastic Mr Fox was a winner. Here’s hoping he hits those heights again with this sci-fi tinged stop-motion flick about canines abandoned to a trash island in futuristic Japan. Voice work from Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Murray.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (April 25) The plot’s unknown at the time of writing but does it even matter? This latest Marvel instalment will vacuum up all the moolah on earth thanks to it folding the Guardians Of The Galaxy gang into the Avengers core group alongside new member Spider-man.
(May 3) Aussie actor Simon Baker directs and stars in this adaptation of Tim Winton’s 2009 Miles Franklin Award winner of the same name. The Wa-shot drama has Baker as an old surfer who befriends a couple of teens in the mid-1970s. The ace Richard Roxburgh and Rachael Blake co-star.
(May 31) Ryan Reynolds’ totes-inappropes super-antihero returns for more foul-mouthed, bi-curious and graphically violent adventures. The first flick was a fresh and funny blast of vulgarity; a wicked corrective to an oversupply of superhero films.
JUNE OCEAN’S EIGHT
(June 7) Can eight women pull off the sort of heist that required between 11 and 13 men? We’re guessing yes, when this spin-off ’s femmes fatale include Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Rihanna.
THE INCREDIBLES 2
(June 14) The director of the original, Brad Bird, floated this sequel over a decade ago, saying he’d only go ahead if he had an idea better than the first film. Fingers crossed he’s true to his word. This picks up where The Incredibles left off, with our skewed superhero family this time tackling a villain called the Underminer.
(June 28) This promises to be the breakout man-comedy of 2018. Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Hannibal Buress star as 40-something dudes who have for decades played an elaborate annual game of tag. But this year it falls when the only one who’s never been “it” is getting married.
(July 12) It’s The Rock meets Die Hard as Dwayne Johnson’s FBI rescue specialist has to save his family when they’re trapped inside a Chinese skyscraper. It’s going to be in 3D, so prepare for vertigo.
AUGUST THE PREDATOR
(Aug 2) A 1980s-themed month kicks off with a reboot of the dreadlocked alien franchise. This instalment is set between Predator 2 and Predators and helmed by the very clever Shane Black, who starred in the original Predator and went on to write and direct Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys.
(Aug 9) Say hello to my little remake. We could safely ignore this except a) the 1983 version was also a remake; b) the Coen brothers have had a hand in writing this; c) the lead is the very talented Diego Luna.
THE EQUALIZER 2
(Aug 16) Denzel Washington does his firstever sequel in this follow-up to the 2014 film version of the 1980s TV show. Try saying that five times fast. But don’t question it. Just accept that Denz does deadly violence in a way that makes you think it’s dramatically deep.
(Sept 20) Don’t expect men in tights – or portly Russell Crowe – in this gritty retelling that stars Taron Egerton of Kingsman in the lead role, with Jamie Foxx as Little John and Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck. Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham confirms this is a must-see for its casting alone.
OCTOBER FIRST MAN
(Oct 11) Director Damian Chazelle goes from La La Land to the lunar landscape and takes Ryan Gosling along for the ride in this biopic about Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon.
NOVEMBER HOLMES AND WATSON
(Nov 8) It’s been too long since Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s last team-up and this comedy with them as Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary crime-solving bros promises to be a pisser.
(Dec 26) All through Entourage, this was the Holy Grail of Hollywood roles for Vinnie Chase. But now it’s set to take Jason Momoa – better known as Got’s Khal Drogo – into the superhero stratosphere. Shot in Australia, Aquaman is directed by James Wan, the local lad who made good with Saw, and co-stars Nicole Kidman, local lass made good who you’ll remember from BMX Bandits.
(Dec 26) Leaked set footage showed that Rami Malek – breakout star of Mr Robot – is an uncanny fit for Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury in this long-gestating biopic. Let’s pray this does the fandango while doing justice to the man’s legend and life.